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Simply Streisand

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Album Review

After three albums related to television specials and one of French songs, Simply Streisand was Barbra Streisand's first "regular" new album since People three years earlier and her first new release of any kind in a year. (Before, her albums came regularly every six months.) By now, the singer was spending her time in Hollywood shooting movies, and the music scene had moved heavily into rock, developments that made this a perfunctory set and one released into an indifferent climate; unlike her previous eight albums, Simply Streisand missed the Top Ten. But it isn't that bad. Streisand is not an accomplished performer of classic pop standards like "My Funny Valentine" and "More Than You Know," largely because she seems too intimidated by the material to put an individual stamp on it, but she is a great singer, and if arranger Ray Ellis' charts lack the invention of Peter Matz's, they are conventionally competent. If this were the only Streisand album you ever heard, you'd still think she was good. It's only in comparison to what went before that it seems mediocre.


Born: 24 April 1942 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Barbra Streisand's status as one of the most successful singers of her generation was remarkable not only because her popularity was achieved in the face of a dominant musical trend -- rock & roll -- which she did not follow, but also because she used her vocal skills as a mere stepping stone to other careers, as a stage and film actress and as a film director. Born in 1942 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she struggled briefly as an actress and nightclub singer in New York during the early '60s...
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